One Wednesday Night in America

On Wednesday, August 12, 2009, coolers were filled, crew was gathered, and hump-day twilight sailing happened from coast to coast. Here are your submissions to last summer's call for Wednesday Night racing stories and photos, as seen in our July/August 2010 issue.

Sailing World

Sequioa YC

Sequoia YC Beer-Can Series, South San Francisco Bay, Calif.Erik Simonson

What would a snapshot of our sport look like? As much as we'd prefer it feature two America's Cup contenders dueling for the sport's biggest prize, or the crowded starting line of a one-design world championship, sailing at that level represents a tiny portion of the overall pie. More likely this snapshot would involve slower boats and casual, yet keen, sailors. There would be no sponsor logos, and the gear might be a little worse for wear. There's likely to be a few beer cans lying about the cockpit.

Weeknight “beer can” racing is sailing’s pulse. The competition comes in a variety of flavors, from cutthroat, world-class one-design fleets to the loose joy of countless jib-and-main handicap groups. What is common to us all is how our love of harnessing the wind, of testing our knowledge, skill, and luck, and of the camaraderie of our competitors and our teammates keeps us coming back.

There is no one best weeknight for sailing. But Wednesday does stand out. To get our own snapshot of the sport we picked Aug. 12, 2009, and asked you to tell us about your night of sailing: the good, the bad, the rained-out. We’re happy to report that Wednesday night is alive and thriving.

Here are a few of the sailing scenes that checked in with us last August.

Lake Shore Sail Club, Lake St. Clair, Detroit, Michigan

Rochester Yacht Club, Lake Ontario, Rochester, New York

Highlander Fleet 14, Lake Erie, Cleveland, Ohio

Toms River Yacht Club, Barnegat Bay, Toms River, New Jersey

Corinthian Yacht Club, Puget Sound, Seattle, Washington

Manhattan Yacht Club, Upper Bay, New York, New York

Corinthian Yacht Club, Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois

Lake Champlain Yacht Club, Shelbourne, Vermont

Nockamixon Sail Club, Lake Nockamixon, Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club, Lighthouse Point, Florida

California Yacht Club, Marina Del Rey, California

To contibute to this summer's "One Thursday Night in America," set for Thursday, July 29, 2010, click here.